GOP: Bridges to Enemies, Walls With Allies
February 6, 2017
French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron on Saturday called on U.S. scientists, academics and entrepreneurs at odds with Donald Trump’s administration to move to France.
The former economy minister, one of the frontrunners in the upcoming presidential election, urged U.S.-based scientists working on climate change, renewable energy or health issues who were wary of the new political situation to seek refuge across the Atlantic.
“I want all those who today embody innovation and excellence in the United States to hear what we say: from now on, from next May, you will have a new homeland, France,” he said.
Monday, Almost one hundred high tech US companies have joined in legal opposition to the President’s travel ban, recently put on hold by a conservative judge.
Rogue Twitter feeds voicing employee concerns at more than a dozen U.S. government agencies have been launched in defiance of what they say are Trump’s attempts to muzzle federal climate change research and other science.
Representing scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA and other bureaus, either directly or through friends and supporters, the accounts protest restrictions they view as censorship since Trump took office on Jan. 20.
Without naming Trump in his campaign speech in the southeastern city of Lyon, Macron, a former investment banker, said his “solemn call” was meant to all “researchers, academics and companies in the United States fighting obscurantism and who are afraid today,” to join the land of innovation he wants France to be.
Macron’s campaign for the Elysee palace has been given a fillip by a scandal over fake pay embroiling his main rival, conservative Francois Fillon, and the nomination of a hard-left candidate to represent the ruling Socialist party.
There are times in life that really do count. Times when a person’s character is revealed, when the important is separated from the unimportant. Soon decisions are taken that will determine the further path a person takes. With some, this can be tragic, and the moment comes too soon in their youth at a time when they aren’t mature enough yet to foresee all the potential consequences. They make the decisions cheerfully and they lead to either luck or bad luck. But countries and governments are seldom as innocent when it comes to their decisions.
That’s the kind of situation now approaching. The people who will soon have to decide are already grown up. They now have to start preparing, even if it will be painful.
Germany must stand up in opposition to the 45th president of the United States and his government. That’s difficult enough already for two reasons: Because it is from the Americans that we obtained our liberal democracy in the first place; and because it is unclear how the brute and choleric man on the other side will react to diplomatic pressure. The fact that opposition to the American government can only succeed when mounted together with Asian and African partners — and no doubt with our partners in Europe, with the EU — doesn’t make the situation any easier.
So far, Germany has viewed its leadership role — at least the leadership understanding of Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble — as one that is by all means in opposition to the interests of other European countries. Whether Schäuble’s austerity policies or Merkel’s migration policies, it all happened without much co-coordination and with considerable force. It is thus somewhat ironical that it is Germany, the country that is politically and economically dominant in Europe, that will now have to fill in many of the gaps created by America’s withdrawal from the old world order, the one referred to by former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer as “Pax Americana.” At the same time, Germany must build an alliance against Donald Trump, because it otherwise won’t take shape. It is, however, absolutely necessary.
It is literally painful to write this sentence, but the president of the United States is a pathological liar. The president of the U.S. is a racist (it also hurts to write this). He is attempting a coup from the top; he wants to establish an illiberal democracy, or worse; he wants to undermine the balance of power. He fired an acting attorney general who held a differing opinion from his own and accused her of “betrayal.” This is the vocabulary used by Nero, the emperor and destroyer of Rome. It is the way tyrants think.
A European official, Donald Tusk, created a stir this week when he wrote a letter to 27 leaders of the bloc’s 28 member states suggesting that the Trump administration presented a threat on a par with a newly assertive China, an aggressive Russia and “wars, terror and anarchy in the Middle East and Africa.”
Intentionally, he left out Britain, because it has voted to leave the bloc and its prime minister, Theresa May, has rushed with what some Europeans consider unseemly rapidity to the side of Mr. Trump, who has derided the European Union and praised Britain’s withdrawal, or “Brexit,” saying, “I don’t think it matters much for the United States.”
In his letter, Mr. Tusk, a former Polish prime minister who is the president of the European Council, made up of the national leaders, wrote of “worrying declarations” from the Trump team, adding: “Particularly the change in Washington puts the European Union in a difficult situation, with the new administration seeming to put into question the last 70 years of American foreign policy.”
Worse, he said: “Europeans see Trump as the biggest threat to global order and the European ideal of how the world should be organized. The U.S. has been a crucial part of the ballast meant to be upholding the global order in the face of these other challenges Tusk mentions, from Russia and China to Islamic radicalism.”
“But rather than acting as a check on these forces, Trump seems to be amplifying them, and that’s pretty terrifying,” Mr. Leonard continued. “It’s like you suddenly discover that the medicine you’ve been taking is making you sicker than the illness itself.”